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Thread: why block?

  1. #1
    ti [OP]
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    why block?

    Question:

    I have looked all over the place including referencing a ton of books & the internet AND I can't figure out why blocking is uber important. Maybe I am just missing the point?!?

    I understand that blocking helps to finish a project (shape it, etc.) ... Is there some sort of sizing in the skeins? Are there any other reasons that blocking in crocheting/knitting are important??

    Are rust proof pins labeled as such?

    What product/wash would you recommend for blocking wool? Other fabrics?

    Any tips? Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
    ada
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    It's important for exactly the reason you give - that it helps finish a project.

    This doesn't matter much if the project finish is flexible - like, a scarf doesn't have to be certain exact dimensions; a hat knit all in one piece pretty much is fine without blocking.

    It matters for anything that needs to be/has pieces that need to be a certain size. If you knit a top in pieces - front, back, sleeves - you need to sew all this together. Blocking lets you shape the pieces to the exact dimensions given in the pattern (it compensates for small variations in gauge that might have happened when you were knitting), so that they all 'fit' together for sewing up.

    It also matters to make pieces 'behave' better. Especially with stocking stitch in knitting, the pieces will curl on the edges - if you block, you reduce the curling, and so the pieces are easier to handle and sew up.

    That same effect also often makes the item look nicer - the process of blocking smoothes out a lot of the unevenness and odd 'curling' and so on of a knitted item. I'm not sure how to describe this - it's sort of like all the stitches sort of settle a bit, and even out, and just sit better. This is especially useful for colour work - it can help reduce any slight puckering. Also, it can make the finished item (if it's clothing) drape a bit better.

    Finally, blocking is absolutely crucial if you are knitting lace. It is only when you stretch out the knitting that you can see the pattern properly.

    On your technical questions: I don't really know, I'm very low-tec in my blocking. I just wet the item, pin it out on a towel with my standard sewing pins, and leave it to dry. Sometimes if a curl etc. is especially persistent, I will steam it a bit by pressing it with an iron over a damp facecloth. (If you do this with acrylic yarn, it will totally change texture - it stops being as 'springy' and becomes sort of drapey - this can be a nice effect, just make sure you do it on purpose!)

  4. #3
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    just what she said, blocking is critically important for knitted items. it's not for crochet though, and many crochet patterns will specifically state that they should not be blocked.

  5. #4
    ti [OP]
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    thank you for all of your info, it has been very helpful and enlightening to say the least ...


 

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